How to Use a Virtual Assistant

by Barbara Beauregard
7/21/2014 11:48:46 AM

Top 8 Tasks that You Should Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant operates similar to an in-house office assistant, except that they work remotely, and they are only paid for the actual time that they work. This means that they’re more cost-efficient than in-house workers. Plus, for small business owners trying to grow their business, outsourcing certain tasks can save them time to focus more on their company.

Deciding which tasks to outsource, however, does require some planning. Certain tasks are easier to outsource than others. Here are the top eight items that you should outsource to a virtual assistant for a helping hand.

1. Research: Virtual assistants can be easily tasked with nearly any type of research, including looking up competitors, researching potential hires and finding information on trends. Business owners should send all the username and passwords to virtual assistants that they need to access special research sites, and business owners should be clear about what type of information that they need.

2. Appointment setting/confirmation calls: Business owners can spend a lot of time setting appointments with current and potential clients, and following up to confirm those appointments. Instead of the business owner chasing appointments, a virtual assistant can set up all the appointments and add them to the calendar.

3. Answering calls: If a person is trying to grow their business or even get work done, they can’t answer every phone call. A virtual assistant can answer the phones, take messages and only patch through calls or messages if they are urgent.

4. Sales/cold-calling: Virtual assistants become an extension of a business. Because they learn about your products and services, they can be qualified to perform light sales duties and cold call potential leads. Training will be a necessary step if someone plans on outsourcing this task. Once training is done, however, this will free up more time for the business owner.

5. Typing documents: Like an in-house secretary, virtual assistants can type up any document that is needed. Virtual assistants have all the office tools that they need to get this type of work done. No equipment is required from the business owner.

6. Forms/Surveys: Before someone comes to the office, virtual assistants can gather information for intake forms. They can also tally up survey results and put them into a manageable document that business owners can quickly skim or use for client presentations.

7. Customer service: A virtual assistant can be trained on your business so they can effectively communicate with customers, including answering client questions and taking orders.

8. Conference Registration: Most small business owners don’t have time to figure out where to stay or even fill out the conference/seminar registration forms. Virtual assistants are perfect for this type of work, researching the nearest hotels within the required price range and booking the hotel and sending in registration forms. They can even research potential conferences that would make sense for the business owner to attend.

Virtual assistants can be used for nearly any type of office work. Using a virtual assistant wisely will save small business owners time and money. How have you leveraged virtual assistants for your business? Let us know in the comments!

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